Monday, December 11, 2006

Keep Christ in Christmas and out of Yule!

It's that time of year when the inevitable "Keep Christ In Christmas" signs start popping up, so it's about time I stated my whole-hearted agreement.

Keep Christ in Christmas, so you can get him out of Yule.

It's important to remember, when celebrating Christ's birthday, that that's what you're celebrating, not some other holiday, some pagan or commercial or secular holiday. So I encourage you to remember that come spring, since that's when Jesus was born. Go check your Bible, the signs are there. For example, even in Bethlehem shepherds aren't watching their sheep by night in winter, only during lambing time in spring.

Celebrating Christmas in December was proposed first in the fourth century AD as a means of trying to overshadow the many pagan festivals of the time. Nearly every culture has had a festival right around the winter solstice (usually December 21, and most commonly called Yule in modern American culture), across the whole world.

Little wonder that Christmas is infused with pagan elements (the lighted tree, the Yule log, mistletoe, etc.) and secular elements (snowmen, giving gifts, feasting). They were there first!

But it's hugely ironic, in a satisfying way, to watch the Christians whining about other things invading the space of their holiday and displacing it, since the entire reason their holiday even happens is because it, very intentionally, invaded the space of existing holidays to displace them. Can't stand the heat, boys, stay out of the kitchen.

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